Embracing the ‘new year, new me’ mentality

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The biggest cliche ever might just be the saying “new year, new me.” Likewise, the biggest lie ever might just be “I’m going to follow my New Year’s resolutions!” Most of us have fallen prey to the allure of the new year and its promise of helping us become a completely new person. We all think we’re going to turn over a new leaf, get rid of all of our bad habits and be the person we always wanted to be.

Frankly, it’s the thought that counts. Whether or not you actually follow your resolutions is a moot point. The fact that you’re in that state of mind where you feel like you can conquer anything and everything is what we all need going into a new year.

For starters, this kind of mentality really does give you a chance to start over. Oftentimes, we lack the motivation to change ourselves for the better, and now that we have the right mindset, we can bring about change we never thought we could. Whether it’s trying to shake a bad habit or start a new hobby, feeling like you can do anything is great for the mind.

From personal experience, for the past four years, I’d always consider the new year as a way for me to finally do something that I either had been putting off or something new that I thought was worth kicking off the year with. As a resolution, I always wanted to get more into shape. Every year, without fail, I would inevitably end up continuing to sit on my ass and do nothing but watch TV and procrastinate on schoolwork. But before I would get to that stage each year, I actually did something for myself. I would lift weights, do some strength-training exercises or attempt to build some muscle somewhere. I didn’t quite get in shape, but noticed changes in myself (both physical and mental) that I was happy with.

I’m more than confident in saying that if I didn’t believe in treating a new year as a new start on life, I wouldn’t have even bothered to lift a two-pound dumbbell. Knowing myself, I’d have continued to do nothing and continued to be unsatisfied with my life. Because I saw the new year as a literal new year, I was able to act on it and do something good for myself.

Of course, there are those always-on, fully motivated individuals who don’t need the turn of a new year to go out and do something. They do things the second they realize they want to do them. But for a lot of people like me, we need a certain set time to finally get our lives together a little more than they were the year before. So what if we don’t do exactly what we planned? At least we’re trying to improve ourselves in some way. Even if you don’t carry out any of your resolutions, you’ll feel more complete knowing that you tried.

Maybe you want to explore a new field of study you’d been thinking about all year but could never find the time or energy to actually get into it. With the start of a new year, you essentially have a clean slate. This mentality can make you feel like you can tackle that new subject and more. If you consider the new year like starting over, hopefully you can reset yourself and actually find the time and energy to do what you always wanted to do.

It’s not all about acceptance, either, or being content with who you are. If there are things about ourselves we want to change, the only person that’s stopping that from happening is you. Think of a new year as a new era for you. You can put the past behind you, and you have the right state of mind to grow further as an individual.

Having a “new year, new me” mentality is like a kick in the ass. It gets those of us who are sitting down up out of our chairs and off our beds and floors. It nudges us along from standing to walking to running. Each year we consider new is a new opportunity to add something to your life you thought was missing. It could be anything: treating yourself to something you’ve wanted for a while, traveling somewhere unexpected, investing more time in a person — you name it. Just keep in mind that it’s OK if you don’t do all that you set out to do. At least you thought about it, and you actively tried to reshape your life. That’s much more than doing nothing at all.

Contact Pooja Bale at [email protected] .